« Freezing time with a smile »: SHAB exhibits his multiple art at SITIO

By Michel Fily, April 3, 2019


Born in Annecy in 1996, Charly Collomb, Alias Shab, has been drawing since childhood. While he’s working as a muralist, Shab also works in his own product design business. He creates a vision of a colorful world, blooming with minimalist faces, just as different from each other, and geometric shapes, inspired by artistic movements that have forged the artist. He draws his influences from everyday life, the environment around him, people who cross his path. His characters, intermingled by dozens, are as many emotions and stories. Also inspired by non-verbal language, Shab has a strong message to convey.


Urban Street Art Urbain went to meet this prolific young artist, who is currently presenting « Degrees 360 », an exhibition at SITIO, SUPERPOSITION‘s urban art gallery in Lyon.


Hello Shab, can you introduce yourself?

My name is Shab, I was born in Lyon, I am 22 years old and it’s been five, six years since I really started drawing. My « blaze » (alias) comes from the nicknames I was given when I was younger, « Charly Boy » and « Charly Baby », which I contracted into one name. And also because of the meaning of the word « shab » in French Street language, which means « look ».


Tell us about your artistic career.

I first did a bachelor’s degree in carpentry, because I wanted to draw furnitures. Then I did an upgrade in applied arts and I continued with a degree in product design. Today I work in two areas: I do furniture design and artistic projects, such as this exhibition or when I paint in the street. I discovered Street Art through the “Parkour” (free running): a street discipline that consists of successively crossing various urban obstacles with the fastest possible movements and without the help of any equipment. As for hip-hop, the links between free runners and graffiti artists are historical. Thanks to this urban activity, I discovered amazing spots, not known by the normal people, and there I saw the works of many graffiti artists. The idea of ​​appropriating the urban space fascinated me and that’s how I started Street Art. I’ve always done a lot of different things in my artistic career but it’s been 1 or 2 years since things really accelerated for me.


What are your favorite techniques and mediums?

I try to vary the pleasures a bit. I started with pencil and pens, like many others, then Posca, bombing and finally acrylic. I also work a lot on computers. I have a huge project, a 47 meters wall, entirely prepared on Illustrator. It will be Lausanne, Switzerland, in collaboration with another artist named Donatelle Liens. As for mediums, it’s the same, I try to diversify them without limits, to always find new surfaces to work on, like in the present exhibition: cardboard, vases, canvases, 3D printings, walls…


Do you see yourself as a Street Artist today?

I do not know … I do not really like the idea of ​​putting a label on what I am or what I do … I use different materials, different techniques and I like this diversity in my creations. But, if it was absolutely necessary to put a name on what I do, then, yes, I think that I am a Street Artist, but not exclusively. I would like, in the future, to be recognized both as a designer and as a Street Artist, because I love too much the vastness of urban spaces to abandon murals. It’s something that I will not be able to find in any other artistic field and I would miss the walls too much.


Could you, in a few words, define your art?

The heart of my work is people and body movements; it’s made of color, positivity and optimism. It is very important for me to be able to convey a message of joy and sharing, to create cohesion and to abolish differences through my work. My characters are constantly moving, like in the Parkour and in the Breakdance. And beyond this constant dynamic, there is the sign language. It comes from my mother, who has been working with deaf children since I was a child. She taught me and continues to teach me this amazing language. I always had a little trouble finding my words. Sign language helped me to learn to express myself and I also learned from it that you can know a lot about someone and also pass on a lot of things to someone without the need for words.


Have you already exhibited your work in front of a hearing-impaired audience?

Never, but it’s really a goal for me, with the idea of ​​getting messages smarter, with more thought behind each idea than in verbal language. So that the person observing my art would be both challenged by the aesthetic aspect and by the intellectual figure. This exhibition represents an opportunity for me to show this language, which I plan to work with more and more …


What are the messages you are trying to convey, precisely?

The notion of pleasure and joy, of beauty. The « no limit » idea. I try to break down barriers, to abolish differences between races, between styles and ages, between classes. It’s my way of trying to be universal.


Who are your influences?

Keith Haring, of course, whom I admire a lot and with whom I feel a real artistic link. I also like very much the work of Cleone Peterson, an American Street Artist who works the bodies in a remarkable way. There is also Os Gemeos, whose colors and energy are extremely powerful. And finally the graffiti artist Maye, from Marseille, who also works a lot on the movement, inspires me a lot…


Is it easy to be a Street Artist today, to your opinion?

It really depends on the cities. In Lyon, for example, I think it is much more tolerated today than in the past, and even highlighted in some places. In the province, in small villages, it’s more complicated and things would have to happen to change mentalities. But I think that, overall, we are on good tracks and that Street Art is becoming more and more popular.


Why did you name your exhibition « Degree 360 »?

This title represents both the idea of ​​exploring a range of new materials and taking a turn with a new look at the world, through sign language in particular.


If you could accomplish a crazy dream, what would it be?

Something like the project of El Seed, a monumental anamorphosis he made in a small Egyptian village, on about fifty houses. I think it’s the biggest anamorphosis ever made to date. I would really like to realize a project like that, some day. Otherwise, my dream as an artist is to go around the world, paint absolutely everywhere and meet many other artists.


« Degrés 360 »

An exhibition by SHAB, with ES24 & PANT

SITIO, urban art gallery

3, place Gensoul 69002 LYON




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